Excerpt: An interesting question came up the other day while talking about dualism and the mind body problem, the idea that the brain isn’t all you need to create the human experience: as videogame characters are controlled by external entities with consciousness, does this mean that these characters too have consciousness? Put another way, am I the soul in the character I create in a game, and by extension, is someone else controlling me?
Excerpt: It seems fitting that as the new generation of consoles gets underway one of the swan songs of the last/"current" generation is Dark Souls 2 . Dark Souls and its spiritual predecessor Demon's Souls together comprise one of the best new franchises to come out of the seventh generation of consoles. Their unforgiving gameplay and innovative online functionality made us forget about the less than stellar presentation, but does Dark Souls 2 live up to its predecessors?
Conclusion: In short, OH MY GOD THIS GAME IS AMAZING. I’m a huge Souls fanboy and the bias is thick and heavy in the air, but this is honestly the most fun I’ve had with a video game since the original Dark Souls. The feeling of mystery, wonder, dread and rage is something unique to the series, and I can’t wait to keep on playing this for years to come.
Pros: Vast world to explore, Deep character customisation, Looks and sounds beautiful, New Game + makes a lot of changes, Difficult like slowly chiseling into the pleasure center of your brain
Cons: Framerate suffers during hectic scenes, Loading times can occasionally cause delayed button inputs and sound effects
Conclusion: Overall, Dark Souls II is an excellent follow-up to an amazing RPG series. The set pieces are just as big as ever and you’ll certainly have your hands full from the beginning. If you loved the series before, you are going to love this game but newcomers beware, this is going to be a tough ride. We were blown away by the numerous boss battles and overall feel of the game.
Excerpt: Demon’s Souls was an anomaly, a thoroughly modern 3D game whose mechanics and philosophy were plucked wholesale from the 8-bit era: unforgivingly brutal difficulty, a focus on repetitive attack patterns, and absolutely no hand-holding whatsoever. While all of these things are true of Dark Souls as well, it’s billed as a “spiritual successor” and not a sequel for good reason – in many ways, this is a wildly different experience.
Pros: Enormous level of content, Unparalleled sense of accomplishment, Bizarre character and level design
Excerpt: Dark Souls is the spiritual successor to From Software's surprise hit, Demon's Souls . Keeping the original game's dark tone, difficulty, and intense combat, Dark Souls manages to create a unique experience quite unlike anything on the market, even its predecessor. Though this action RPG experience is certainly challenging, it provides an astounding number of options by which the player can persevere.
Summary: Dark Souls is an action RPG set in a rich, dark fantasy universe. Tense dungeon crawling, fearsome enemy encounters and groundbreaking online features combine for a truly unique RPG experience.
Excerpt: Dark Souls should need little introduction. Even if you somehow managed to miss out on From Software’s stellar spiritual predecessor, Demon’s Souls , you probably did not escape having your gaming mettle questioned by Dark Souls' “Prepare to Die” marketing campaign over the past few months. Yet, for those who need a refresher, you are welcome to follow me through my novice paces and impressions as catalogued here .
Pros: Pure gameplay without many frills. An extremely satisfying single player campaign augmented by the most unique use of coop and competitive multiplayer around.
Cons: Excellent art and sound design marred by occasional but potentially game-breaking frame rate and clipping issues.
Summary: Dark Souls is not for everyone. Most casual gamers will be frustrated by its punishing difficulty. There are times where Dark Souls isn’t even fun, it’s a chore. But it’s because the game is so difficult, so punishing, that you’ll savage each victory and find yourself absolutely addicted to this truly sadistic world. Dark Souls is a well-designed game with deep and engaging combat.